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Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor

Celebrate Native American culture during this 42nd annual event with dancers, drumming, vendors and more at Skyline High School April 5-6, 2014

Families can learn about and celebrate Native American culture in Ann Arbor at what's become known as one of the United States' largest university powwows April 5-6, 2014.

The 42nd annual Dance for Mother Earth Powwow happens at Skyline High School, and this year, the University of Michigan's Native American Student Association and Eastern Michigan University's Native American Student Organization have collaborated to bring the powwow together.

What is a powwow? "Powwows are gatherings that Native American people use as a place to meet, dance, sing and otherwise renew and strengthen our rich culture," organizers explain on the official site.

At this year's event, families can see about 200 competitive dancers, plus drummers. There will be dance and drum contests for visitors to watch, too. The dancers will be wearing regalia, which is what their ornate outfits are called (never "costumes"). The regalia often represent the identity of the dancer and his or her clan, organizers note on the site.

Special this year will be a fashion show of Native American attire and designers, happening at 3:30 p.m. April 5 and hosted by visiting professor Dr. Jessica Metcalfe, founder of Beyond Buckskin boutique. Be sure to check out the Beyond Buckskin items for sale at the powwow, too.

Speaking of merchandise, stop by and visit the vendors. There will be more than 40! Other features include the "giveaway," a special part of the powwow that "represents the generous nature of native peoples," the site says. Visitors will also want to try the Indian Taco while they're here, made with fry bread and taco toppings.

Admission to the powwow is $10/adults, $7/students with ID and seniors 60-plus, $5/kids ages 5-12 and $25/family pass (two adults, three kids). Event times are as follows:

  • Saturday, April 5: 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. (grand entries at noon and 7 p.m.)
  • Sunday, April 6: 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (grand entry at noon)

There's a whole lot more to learn about and experience at the 42nd annual Dance for Mother Earth Powwow at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor. Visit the Metro Parent calendar listing for more details and a link to the official website for additional information.

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